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Review on Singapore concert

Digging, digging... sometimes it's very hard to get some information even on the internet. Thanks to Nopera09 and "pianomania" blog, here's a short review of the concert, published in "The Straits Times" (Singapore's national daily) on October 12th by Mr Chang Tou Liang.
There are some hints about the setlist that confirm the one published on the festival's website.
Verdi - La Traviata “Parigi O Cara”
Catalani - La Walli “Ebben”
Puccini - La Boheme “Che Gelida Manina”
Donizetti - L’Elisir D’Amore “Caro Elisir”
Mascagni - L’Amico Fritz “Suzel Bon Di”
Verdi - Luisa Miller “Quando Le Sere Al Placido”
Puccini - Madame Butterfly “ Un Bel Di Vedremo”
Puccini - La Boheme “O Soave Fanciulla”
Verdi - La Traviata "Brindisi"
According to Nopera09 there were"7-8 extras". For the moment that's all I know.
The marquee event was surely the all-Italian opera gala evening on Saturday helmed by Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu. It was an unmitigated pleasure to finally find an artist at the height of her expressive powers, rather than some over-the-hill diva with unreasonable demands for the air-conditioning to be switched off. Sporting three changes of evening gowns, including a flaming red cleavage-revealing see-through outfit, the irrepressible Gheorghiu oozed charisma and sexuality from every pore.
Whether it was in solo arias or duets with her compatriot, the rising tenor Marius Manea, she commanded the stage with a clear-as-a-bell richness of tone and vivacious presence. The arias from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (Un bel di) and Catalani’s Le Wally (Ebben! Ne andro lontana) were perfection itself.
Not to be overshadowed, Manea hit his high notes in arias from Verdi’s Luisa Miller and Puccini’s La Boheme like a young and once-fit Pavarotti.The couple elicited a rare chemistry in four duets, including less familiar gems from Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore and Mascagni’s L’Amico Fritz, all sensitively partnered by the orchestra now conducted by the Italian Paolo Olmi. Arguably the best operatic concert in almost two decades (and certainly this century thus far), it was capped with five substantial encores.
Like in Placido Domingo’s 1990 gig at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, the audience was invited to sing the chorus in the Brindisi from Verdi’s La Traviata. The response was less than coordinated clapping and a respective silence. Judging by the high spirits and inspiration engendered, some souls may be led to take on singing lessons themselves. In the meantime, the operatic offering for next year’s Singapore Sun Festival cannot come soon enough.

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